The ability to create a custom pair of NIKEiD kicks has been around for quite a few years and we reached out to sneaker industry insiders to share their favorite creations.
You will see that a nice variety of models are highlighted within this feature and these individuals not only give you insight about their design inspiration, but also some of the unique opportunities and locations in which they able to create their pairs.
With NIKEiD always changing and constantly adding/subtracting materials and features, it’s always cool to see pairs from the past which boast elements maybe no longer available. But, we know that can be agonizing too!
Nike Dunk High iD
This was hard to choose because I was crazy about Nike’s original 255 Elizabeth design studio. I went in there close to once a month to make shoes, and I’d always try the different materials and colors as they would become available. But, at the end of the day, these Dunk Highs are my favorite NIKEiD pair and most often worn as you can see from the creases and dirt.
I designed these at a time when there weren’t tons of “gucci-inspired” shoes, so it did fill that void for me at the time. I like to be more playful with things people are sometimes pretentious with, like high-fashion brands, so in addition to the “purple guts” as my friend Scoop would call it, I threw these cherry print shoe laces in, as the cherries reminded me of slot machines and Pac-man. The leather breaks in well and the ‘mesh’ toe/tongue panel is a feature I wish Nike used more. In addition, I was able to have my b-boy name “Cinematic” embroidered on the side. I used to like going to the iD studio and just be spontaneous, but when I made this pair online I had the vision crystal clear in my head.
Nike LeBron 11 iD
I’ve created a handful of designs over the years but this LeBron 11 NIKEiD is most special to me because of how it came about. I was working for Complex at the time, but living in California. I hadn’t been back to NYC for a while and when I flew out from SF, the guys at Nike had me come down and design a pair of LeBrons. The colors come from my two favorite cities, San Francisco (Giants) and New York (Mets), and two favorite baseball teams. On the inside, you can find “SF” on one and “NYC” on the other. And of course, I couldn’t resist adding the glow-in-the-dark to the Swoosh and other areas.
Nike Air Max TR1+ iD
This is a Nike Air Max TR1+, a model from around the time that Nike started adding 360 Air to various models circa 2011. A small handful of media were invited to a Nike Football event in Dallas and we were allowed to do iDs on the spot as part of the one day activities. Since there was a lot going on with our schedule, you really didn’t have a lot of time to sweat the details so I kept mine very simple by doing a predominately navy upper with accents in a lighter shade of blue. Navy was versatile, and my favorite color, so I knew I’d get wears out of them. The accent blue broke things up just enough to create a decent, balanced look. The final product ended up being better than anything I’ve pored over for hours while trying to iD something at home.
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Nike Air Trainer High SC iD
Being in awe of the immense talents of Bo Jackson as a kid, the Nike Air Trainer SC is one of my all-time favorite silhouettes. When these hit NIKEiD for a limited time, I had to make a few pairs before they were gone. The color options, materials & features offered were pretty versatile, so I was able to do a few things.
The first pair is inspired by the Air Max 1 “3/26.” I just love the color combo of red with volt and I dropped in a little 3M on this pair to compliment it. I used a suede upper with a volt translucent outsole and was really happy with the way they came out. The second pair was just to match a Craig Biggio (Astros) throwback jersey that I had scooped up. I used the suede upper again, but this time with an ice bottom and speckled midsole with a splash of 3M in some different spots. I love sneakers with a lot of color and I thought my choices here expressed that. For me, I love the originality and expression that NIKEiD gives you, but don’t always love the silhouettes. I play with the features and materials from time to time, but only pull the trigger when there’s a style or silhouette that I connect with. Lastly, I hope we NEVER see a retro Jordan hit NIKEiD. Never. But hey, that’s just how I feel!
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Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low iD
Of the two dozen or so NIKEiD pairs I have made through the years, this has to be at the top of the list. The ‘Multicolor’ HTM Kobe 9 was what I like to call a Unicorn. It was just better off pretending as if it didn’t exist so I wouldn’t be in my feels about not having a pair.
All of that changed when NIKEiD surprised us with this option for the Kobe 9 iD.
What made it even better was that every pair I had seen until I got my pair was completely different. There was great excitement and anticipation as to how mine would look, and at the end of the day I was not disappointed at all!
Nike Shox BB4 iD
I designed by first NIKEiD sneaker in 2001, putting together a Shox BB4 for my freshman year of high school basketball. I wanted to be just like my favorite NBA point guards, Jason Williams and Jason Kidd, who were wearing similar PE makeups that season.
At the time, NIKEiD was still new and obscure, so these were pretty shocking for most people. Every game, somebody was either calling them fakes or asking me “who I knew.”
Sadly, I never made it to the Association, but I will always cherish my first and only “PE.”
Nike Kobe VI iD
I really just wanted to make a pair of “Knicks” Kobe VIs that were inspired by the Penny 1s of the same theme. My original plan after I got these was to make a pair for my two previous jobs: 1) one pair being a safety yellow and black pair for McKearney Asphalt, and a navy, white and red pair for the L&L Grocery Store I used to be a bagger at.
In general I’ve always really dug and respected NIKEiD as a platform. I remember waking up at crazy hours to try to make a pair of Metropop 180s back in high school and playing with the Zoom Flight Vs for like two years. It’s made everybody a designer at some level which is great. You look back at all Air Force 1s Slovadon made (RIP) and they look iller than most stuff that hit the market.
Nike Air Max 1 iD
When someone mentions NIKEiD, my brain immediately goes to the Air Max 1. I know the Dunk, among others, were probably before the Air Max 1, but these carry the most weight for me. I’ve made about 4-5 maxes in my NIKEiD ‘career,’ but these two easily take the top spot. I am a huge denim guy, on footwear and in general. So when an option popped up a handful of years back, allowing us to use a few denim colors on a pair, I jumped on the opportunity and based it on one of my favorite sneakers ever, the Reese Forbes Denim Dunk SB Low from 2002. It’s pretty simple actually, but knocks it out of the park when combined: a dark/light denim blue combination on the upper, a white midsole and a red outsole just work wonders when teamed up.
As for the second pair, which was made somewhere around a year ago, there was a jacquard option in that olive green. Anything military sparks my interest, so my thoughts went straight to using it as digital camouflage and wrapping it around as the mudguard. I wanted that color/pattern to be the focus so I used the most neutral color of all, grey, as the upper along with some small red accents to break up the monotony. The midsole was a no-brainer with a white speckled, black option and classic gum outsole. After the month-long wait, it came out spectacular.
As for the non-bespoke future of online NIKEiD, I’d love to see some of these classic materials back for Air Max 1 use. You may have noticed, I also changed the laces on both, giving them some round, reflective ropes which makes each of them more unique than they already are. Other than the laces, some additional options I’d like to see might be some new color options for the midsole and outsole, as well as maybe an insole design editor where we could possibly upload our own image for insertion.
I’ve been a huge fan of the iD process since they had a brick and mortar spot in downtown Manhattan, which I’d love to see again. It included a one-on-one meeting with a designer and you received a leather booklet with the colors you used as well as a final image. After receiving the shoes, they came in a black and orange drawer shoe box with suede dust bags and shoe inserts. I understand that it’s a much easier process through an online edit and submission, but the experience and feel of the original way is something else.
Nike LeBron 11 iD
In 2013, I was fortunate enough to attend the Nike Basketball LeBron James #11/11 Experience. Before Nike closed up shop, I sat down with their iD team to create a custom LeBron 11 I called “Chlöe.” This design is inspired by my little girl and the sneaker colors she gravitated towards when she was younger. They also feature her name (Chloe) on the inside too.
Nike Air Force 1 Low iD
These were created with the first Pendleton Air Force 1 iD options a few years back. I remember being disappointed at the time that I had to go with a rubber midsole because the color choices on the leather wraps didn’t work with the design. I was really happy in the end with how they turned out, and I’m excited for my latest Pendleton iD design to arrive.
Nike Air Force 1 High iD
I’m a simple dude. My style is a bit minimalistic, so this shoe is very indicative of how I dress. I love Air Force 1s, mids preferably, but really loved this high I did. In all honesty, I was a bit salty that I didn’t score on the White Supreme highs so I made these as a consolation. I made a few minor alterations like the mesh side panel and mesh toe box. I’m a huge fan of the OG mesh on Forces and use it pretty frequently. I also added the black speckle to the midsole and of course the NYC hit on the heel.
Nike Air Max 90 iD
For my pick as my personal favorite NIKEiD pair, I’ve chosen the Nike Air Max 90 “Infrared Supreme.” The inspiration is a nod to the classic OG Infrared 90 and as soon as elephant print was available on NIKEiD, I wanted to create a Supreme version of the timeless classic. I added Elephant Print on the tongue and mudguard, as well as speckles on the midsole.